Senior UK officer calls on public to help prevent attacks

LONDON (AP) " Britain's most senior counterterrorism police officer appealed to the public Monday to help prevent future attacks, urging people to call a confidential anti-terror hotline if they see anything suspicious in their community.

Mark Rowley wrote in a National Police Chiefs Council blog that cooperation between the police and the public was Britain's "greatest advantage."

"It has often been said that 'communities defeat terrorism' and now that's more important than ever before," he said.

The comments were the second time in as many days that senior police officers warned the public to be vigilant. Metropolitan Police Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe warned Sunday that an attack in Britain was a case of "when, not if."

Rowley said that 3,600 contributions " or tips " from the public take place daily and that gun laws and a close working relationship between the police and security services has helped prevent attacks.

The official threat level for international terrorism in the U.K. currently stands at severe, which means that an attack is highly likely. The rating is the second highest out of five, behind critical which indicates that an attack is imminent.

Islamic State-inspired attacks have rattled Europe, with attacks in France, Germany and Belgium this year.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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